Ventilation is an essential requirement to guarantee air quality in the interior spaces of buildings, but reducing pollution sources is also an effective strategy. For example, paying special attention to the type of paints that we apply inside buildings. Do you know that there are paints that give off toxic gases or that harm the environment and people’s health? Did you know that there are alternatives to conventional paints? They are called ecological or natural paints. Have you heard of them? In this post, we explain it to you.
Ventilation is the first necessary mechanism in buildings to guarantee indoor air quality. Either naturally, mechanically, or hybrid. Ventilation aims to eliminate, on the one hand, all those contaminants that can be concentrated due to human activity, such as humidity and CO2. On the other hand, all those pollutants are generated by construction products, furniture, and interior finishes such as volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Another way to ensure indoor air quality is to reduce the sources of pollution in indoor spaces. For example, using construction products with low or zero content of volatile organic compounds. Choosing materials, see paints and varnishes, on-site applied coatings, adhesives and sealing materials, composite wood or thermal insulation materials, among others, whose manufacturer declares through the corresponding label or certificate that said materials are of low or zero VOC content. Other pollutants such as radon, for example, can be reduced by applying preventive construction techniques. Techniques that prevent radon from entering the interior spaces of buildings are exposed to this radioactive gas that may come from the subsoil.
In this article, we are going to focus on paintings. What types of paints exist and how they can contribute to improving indoor air quality.
Paint is a material used in the construction of buildings as a coating on both interior and exterior surfaces. Its function is decorative but it also covers and protects the element on which it is applied. In a very summarized way, we can say that there are different types of paintings. Among them, are plastic paint, enamel, varnishes, sealants, tempera paint, cement paint, lime paint, lacquers, dyes, and decorative paints. The physical and chemical characteristics of each of them will influence the most suitable type of paint for each situation.
Plastic paints, for example, can be easily cleaned with soap and water without the need to use chemical products. They dry quickly and give off little odor. They have fire-retardant properties. They are applied directly to the cement or plaster. If they are applied on more porous surfaces, they require a previous primer. They can be acrylic or vinyl.
Enamels can be acrylic or synthetic. They have greater durability but do not dry as quickly as plastic paints. They also emit volatile organic compounds. They are more resistant to humidity and shock than plastic ones. They can be used on surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens where there is greater exposure to moisture or temperature changes. It can be applied on metal or wood, on joinery, furniture, railings, etc.
Tempera paint is also used indoors. It is cheaper than plastic paint but has inferior properties. It can be applied on plaster or cement and is not washable like plastic paints. It may be necessary to apply a fixative beforehand as they are poorly adherent. They are not suitable in areas with the presence of humidity as they can harbor mold. Textured finishes can be obtained.
Lime paint has antiseptic properties. It is economical and suitable for interior spaces. It is also used outdoors, although it is permeable to vapor and therefore has little resistance to water and humidity. It comes in powder form and for its application, it is mixed with water.
These are just some basic examples. In the market, we can find a wide variety of products depending on their application. For example, paints for floors in garages, storage rooms, and terraces, non-slip paints, and even paints with a sandy effect, that look like concrete, with a rustic finish with relief, for interior or exterior, for each type of room, to apply on concrete, aromatic, hypoallergenic, anti-mold, etc.
We have already commented very briefly on the types of paint that we can find on the market. Now let’s turn our attention to ecological paints.
Ecological paints are so named because their impact on the environment is limited compared to conventional paints. The latter may incorporate synthetic chemical products (inorganic pigments, titanium dioxide, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, etc.) as well as petroleum derivatives (volatile aromatic hydrocarbons). Products that hurt the environment and even people’s health.
Ecological paints, on the other hand, must not contain harmful substances or give off toxic gases, they are products that respect the environment throughout their life cycle and must be breathable, must act as regulators of ambient humidity, and must allow the diffusion of steam. water through it. We can find ecological paints either of vegetable origin, which incorporate vegetable oils or natural waxes for example, or of mineral origins, such as lime paints or silicate paints.
On the other hand, ecological paints can be recognized, in addition to their composition, by their labeling. For example with the Ecolabel label.
The Ecolabel, for example, is a system that works throughout the European Union and in the EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein). The objective of this label is to promote products that can reduce adverse environmental effects, compared to other products in the same category, thus contributing to efficient use of resources and a high level of environmental protection. The Ecolabel label ultimately has the objective of identifying and promoting ecological products.
Searching the net, we have found a type of paint that eliminates CO2 as if it were a tree. It is a type of artisanal lime-based paint that also incorporates graphene technology. The company that manufactures it confirms that it is paint free of volatile organic compounds, toxic or carcinogenic substances. In addition, this paint also eliminates CO2. This is possible thanks to the lime contained in the paint, which in its natural carbonation process absorbs CO2 from the environment, improving the quality of the air you breathe.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle means wholeheartedly embracing respect for the environment and making a positive impact for people and the planet.Click to read on